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Endless Summer: Stories

Review

Endless Summer: Stories

Usually a new Elin Hilderbrand book heralds the start of summer. But the fall release of ENDLESS SUMMER proves that any time is the right time to curl up with a story of hers.

In her Introduction, Hilderbrand says, “What follows in these pages fuses my love of Nantucket with my longtime affection for short fiction. Included here are novellas, short stories, and extra chapters that are related to but not part of my summer novels. Three works here have never been published and the rest have been published only in exclusive editions by certain retailers or only in electronic form.” They are meant to offer texture and nuance to the original novels, and she writes a personal intro to each piece.

"Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will love learning more about some of their favorite characters. For newcomers, ENDLESS SUMMER can offer a primer on just why she has been a beloved, bestselling author for over two decades."

“The Surfing Lesson” occurs a few years prior to the action in BEAUTIFUL DAY. We see Margot and Drum in the early days of their relationship and how past loves still figure into our collective stories, for better or worse. Set decades before THE MATCHMAKER, “The Tailgate” focuses on one pivotal weekend in the 1980s, a college football game, a tailgate picnic and J.D. Salinger. Barbie Pancik, a minor character in THE RUMOR, takes center stage in “Barbie’s Wedding.” Here, she must decide how honest she wants or needs to be with her intended, Glenn, ahead of their Nantucket wedding.

“The Country Club” is a prequel to THE IDENTICALS. Hilderbrand had learned that the country club in Brookline, Massachusetts, was so exclusive and well-known that it was just referred to as the Country Club, so she knew she had to set a story there. The result is a textured look at Eleanor Roxie-Frost and her parents’ annual Christmas party, which is held at this very club.

Hilderbrand felt that 28 SUMMERS might have left readers with questions, so “The Sixth Wedding” lets the characters from that novel come back to Nantucket as they try to revisit and recreate a pivotal night from their past. “The Workshop” is a never-before-published extra chapter to GOLDEN GIRL, drawing upon Hilderbrand’s experience at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Meanwhile, “Frank Sinatra Drive” offers an alternate ending to THE PERFECT COUPLE.

Hilderbrand enjoyed a close friendship with Dorothea Benton Frank, who was working on REUNION BEACH when she passed away in 2019. This made her think about reuniting her characters from SUMMER OF ’69, so the collection’s last two novellas ---“Summer of ’79” and “Summer of ’89” --- do just that. If you have ever waited in line at the mall for concert tickets, you instantly will fall in love with these stories. If not, you still will be charmed by these tales of bygone days spent in the sun with friends.

Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will love learning more about some of their favorite characters. For newcomers, ENDLESS SUMMER can offer a primer on just why she has been a beloved, bestselling author for over two decades.

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on November 4, 2022

Endless Summer: Stories
by Elin Hilderbrand

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Short Stories, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316460915
  • ISBN-13: 9780316460910